In the eighteenth century a new form of literature emerged, the dark twin of the Romantic movement, which became known as Gothic. It dealt with ghosts and the supernatural, often along with haunted houses and castles, madness, poisonings and bloody murder, curses and dark secrets never fully spoken. Along the way, the term became detached from literature, just as Gothic authors had taken it from Gothic architects, and it became an adjective which describes a dark mood of nearly any sort, a feeling of melancholy sometimes hinting, sometimes explicitly supernatural.
The world we live in certainly has a long history of darkness, of undefined creatures roaming the woodlands and moors, of haunted houses, family curses, madness and gruesome murder. Here I explore these subjects and others not as as science, but as an artist and collector of tales. One characteristic which is often associated with the Gothic, is of dealings with events that happened in the past. Details are sketchy and often never revealed during the lives of those involved, and over time the stories become legends and myth, and as such the stories become fluid – there are no right or wrong versions. What I try to do is take you to the places associated with these events, tell you the tale and for you to say “yeah, I could see that happening here.” And if your face turns ashen, your hands begin to shake and you find yourself sleeping with the light on, so much the better.
Where the facts are known I try to present them, but I hope to never let the facts get in the way of a good tale. A good folk tale is passed from person to person and generation to generation and if you look closely you can see the grains of truth in there. Sometimes a myth needs exploding, but sometimes it’s too sweet to let go of.
I’m not trying to convince anyone of the existence of the supernatural, as I don’t believe that people can be convinced of this by scientific means. People believe what they perceive, or in other cases, what they want to believe. I try to tell the story, and show you the places in a way in which you can allow yourself to believe. And if you wish, visit the places yourself and decide for yourself.
After all, we each find out the truth about life after death, but in our own time. We’re just trying to hurry the process along a bit.
Most of the places on this site are public. Some you can wander and explore to your heart’s content. Some you have to be satisfied with walking by, lingering in front for a bit and then move along. Sure, you can drive, but really, what’s the hurry? There’s something about the sound of your footsteps at night that adds to the experience. If you’re going to face the unknown, shouldn’t you do it face to face, and not without a ton of metal and glass to give you protection and that sense of false security?
Contributions are welcome, as are comments, recommendations and personal experiences. However, spelling counts and the worst transgressions will be dealt with mercilessly. This website is not a democracy, and I promise to be ruthless in weeding out comments which just don’t get the point.
Most of the artwork on this site is available for purchase by clicking on the links. And no, they aren’t meant to be comprehensive reproductions of how these places look, this isn’t journalism. After all, Gothic shouldn’t be a noun, it’s an adjective. It’s a mood, a feeling and you don’t need mascara, black leather and be bone thin with skin as white as newly fallen snow to breathe it in. All it takes is an open mind and a desire to believe that there is more here than meets the eye.